We’re on our way out of my parents’ house. I have Mikey’s laptop in my arms. The following dialogue ensues:

Zoey: What’s that?
Me: It’s a computer.
Zoey: Mikey’s computer.
I am stunned.
Mom, or maybe Dad: Well, now it’s your computer.
Short pause; Zoey is thinking while we walk toward the car.
Zoey: Mikey go home?
Me: Yes, sweetie. He did.

And everytime I even think about it, such an innocent, delicate dialogue more packed with meaning than Zoey will ever know, it feels like someone has let all my air out. You could have passed your hand through me, I was so stunned. For nearly a week and a half I have struggled to remind Zoey of her uncle who so adored her, who taught her to dance like a total maniac, who came with us on her first trip to Disney World. I have tried many ways to try to prompt her to talk about him or ask about him. It doesn’t usually get me too far. And tonight it finally happened. How did a two-year-old notice her uncle’s laptop and remember it well enough to recognize it closed up, and looking at it from below? And for me to finally be able to tell her he went home.

There is no adjective that describes how this feels, but relief comes kind of close.

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